When Frances called last week to see if I would bowl a tournament with him, I said yes. I didn’t ask questions like who was on the team or how much it cost, though i did ask him the location. Cottage Grove. I can do that. I hadn’t looked at my calendar. Now that Neuro Feedback Therapy had run its course, I didn’t think I had anything on the docket.
Turns out that I did have a massage scheduled for that day, but the last couple of massages had only alleviated me from money, and seventy bucks a pop without results was not worth it. Not only did I erase an appointment that was supposed to help my back, but I traded it in for an activity that was guaranteed to aggravate my low back pain. Lately, it doesn’t matter what I do; it’s going to hurt, so I might as well do everything I can and try to push through the pain.
Now that my favorite pain specialist, Lisa Albanese is back in Eugene, I feel like my back is in good hands and she can help me to continue to not act my age, though I’m really not sure what a 55-year-old is supposed to act like, especially a female 55-year-old.
Saturday, the day of the tournament, couldn’t have been planned any better. I could carry on staying in bed late and even have time to leisure lounge about with the dogs since we weren’t bowling until 1 p.m., and the southern drive was only going to take me less than a half an hour.
Over the years that I’ve been bowling, I used to spend a lot more time in Cottage Grove and Roseburg bowling tournaments, but that was a different lifetime ago. Cottage Grove has grown, but it’s still a quaint little town. I wasn’t in a dilly dally kind of mood and didn’t explore the city to compare my mental notes from a few years ago. I can’t always depend upon those mental notes; the ink starts to fade after a while.
Frances thought that I would be a stronger partner than his wife Francis. That I had a better chance of picking up my spares, though it turned out that I would be picking up or attempting to pick up Frances’ spares.
The tournament was using a Baker doubles format. Each person got one ball. If Frances left a ten pin, my nemesis, which he did on several occasions, I had to bowl that second ball in the frame. If he got a strike, I go my chance to blow the rack away in the next frame.
The first round involved six games, which really was only three games, if you count the balls thrown. We had our low games early on, but started to get warmed up. But so did the other teams.
The elimination round came next. Out of 46 pairs, Frances and I finished in eighth. Not bad especially since there were some really good pairings of hotshot bowlers; guys who could rip the cover off the ball as they send their bowling ball down the lanes with a gazillion revolutions compared to my almost slow motion ball. it gets there, and that’s what counts, not how quickly it gets there, though that does play a big factor, but there are some things I have no control over.
I think our first match was against the top seed team. I’m not sure how they figured the brackets out, but the guys we bowled sure acted like they were in first place and were aiming to stay there as they whooped our butts with a perfect game. I had never seen a 300 shot with two different bowlers. I’ve thrown a 300 with two different balls, but that’s different. it didn’t matter that our two hundred game would have beat many of the 46 teams, but instead we were sent to the losers bracket.
The second game was a nail biter the entire game; came down to the tenth frame. I had to pick up a ten pin and Frances had to get eight pins or better to win by just a few pins. I hadn’t computed this and didn’t know that there was so much pressure riding on that spare. I did miss more ten pins than I converted, but sometimes just that one important spares is worth more than all of the rest combined.
The next game was a game of tough luck. Some strikes would be more like dominoes and be really ugly, and other times the ball would crush the pins and a seven or a ten or some yahoo pin would stand up and proudly give the bowler a raspberry. There’s a lot of trash-talk that goes on between a pin and a bowler. People who watch bowling don’t get to see our faces or read my lips as I am cursing at the stubbornness of that pin. Again, our score would have beaten plenty of other teams, but it didn’t beat our opponent, so we were three and out.
Even though, I only bowled four and a half games, today I’ve had to take it easy for my back, trying to do as much stretching as possible to work out the kinks. Maybe another round of acupuncture Tuesday will speed the healing process so I can be in less pain when I bowl Friday for league.